West Indies made a late surge to make a statement and spike up their hope for a win on the final day. The pacers continued to thrive on a pitch with variable bounce to set up a riveting fifth day in Southampton.
After passing their baptism through fire late on Day 4, the England openers continued their stride with command in the first session. Rory Burns became the first England opener to register 30+ scores in both innings of a test after the retirement of former skipper Alastair Cook.
The impressive 72-run stand was undone by Roston Chase, but Dom Sibley staggered to a half-century only to be dismissed right after. Young Zak Crawley rode to a career-high score of 76 while captain Ben Stokes chipped in with 46 to ensure that WIndies won’t walk over the middle order.
Jos Buttler was undone by Alzarri Joseph while Shannon Gabriel scalped up the wickets of Pope and Bess to turn the tide in favour of the visitors.
Comfortably poised at 249-3 at one stage, the hosts lost their way in the final session. The West Indies pace attack managed to pick up five wickets in the final hour of play to leave England at 284-8, who have a 170-run lead.
With tail-enders Jofra Archer and Mark Wood at the crease, Windies would look forward to cleaning up the tail early on Day 5 and in-process restrict the lead for the benefit of the batsmen.
England 284-8 (lead by 170) (Z.Crawley 76; S.Gabriel 3-62) vs West Indies